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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Toxic Chemicals In Washington’s Drinking Water

PFAS toxic “forever chemicals” have been discovered in drinking water in the state of Washington. Where in the state? It is being reported that the chemicals are all over Washington. The are communities now that are forced to find an alternative source for drinking water. Washington is making it a priority that water districts test for chemicals known as PFAS. So far, about two percent of test results have come back with unsafe levels, according to state standards. 

Highline Water District says the Tyee Well will be offline until it can find a funding source and reliable filtration method to clean the water. But, the mystery is ongoing as the Department of Health did not know specifically where the source of the PFAS was coming from for the Tyee Well. What experts know is that areas with long histories of firefighter training that uses fire-suppressant foam are high on the list as one source of PFAS contamination.

Toxic forever chemicals are tiny particles that come from waterproof coating, Teflon, and firefighting foam. Health risks have been linked to the toxic chemicals to include cancer. Over 1,000 notices were sent out to customers in or close to the impacted areas by the water district. North Hill Elementary School and the surrounding homes, primarily in Des Moines have been impacted howver, a spokesperson for the school said drinking water at the school is filtered.

Officials are taking this serious. Pregnant mothers nursing and using toxic water for formula will be at high risk for health complications. All over, people are being told to look for alternatives. An alternative water source or an approved filter is the best route according to the DOH’s Office of Drinking Water. An approved filter is one that has been independently tested and confirmed to filter out PFAS. Washington state has a list of approved filters.

Testing is going on. About a quarter of Washington state’s water suppliers have been tested so far. The sources believed most likely to be contaminated are being tested first.  The percentage of water sources coming back problematic will drop as more is done. The Washington State Department of Health wants residents to patronize check out their newly launched dashboard that shows people if their tap water has been contaminated with PFAS. 

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